© Damen, 2002

"[W]riting is the greatest technology known to man...."
Ann-Marie MacDonald, 2003 (The Way the Crow Flies)

Part 1: Style
[click here to see a slide presentation (pdf file) based on Part 1 (Style) of this Writing Guide]

While content is, of course, the heart and soul of the papers you'll write in this class—and in the long run content is what I'm looking for and assessing—all too often I can't grasp the content of your papers because of your writing style. If I can't understand what you're saying because it's stated unclearly, how can I see what you think and thus evaluate the quality of your thought and effort? That's why writing style is important in academic prose.

A. The General Tone of Your Writing

1. Informality

2. Definitive Statements

3. Overstatements

4. Meaningless Words and Non-Statements

5. Choppy Sentences

B. Words and Word Choices

6. Phrasing

7. Repetition of Words

8. Noun Clusters

C. Grammar and Spelling

9. Subject-Verb Agreement

10. Dangling Participles

11. Pronoun Referents

12. Spelling

13. Possessives and Plurals

14. Present-Tense Verbs

D. Organizing Your Work

15. Paragraphs

16. Punctuation

17. Run-ons and Fragments

E. The Presentation of Your Work

18. Neatness


20. Proofread





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